'Vast majority' of tenants paid April rent, Minto REIT says

Minto building
Minto's One80Five apartment building, located at 185 Lyon St. in Ottawa. (Google Street View image)

Despite worries that the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic could make it difficult for some residents to cover their rent, Ottawa’s Minto Apartment Real Estate Investment Trust said this week that the “vast majority” of its tenants have paid up in April.

In a news release, the REIT said it had collected 97 per cent of this month’s total rent owing as of April 14, which it called “a level consistent with its normal collection cycle.”

The company, which owns and operates 29 residential rental properties in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton, said it is putting rent increases that had been scheduled for April, May and June on hold as the country deals with continued economic turmoil as a result of COVID-19.

The REIT said it is also offering deferred payment plans to residents who are unable to pay their rent due to the crisis, but as of April 14 fewer than one per cent of tenants have requested assistance.

Minto’s occupancy rate stood at 97.34 per cent as of March 31, down slightly from 98.67 per cent a year earlier. 

The REIT said it completed a $100-million mortgage financing secured by one of its Ottawa properties at the end of March. It said the proceeds were used to pay down outstanding amounts on the REIT's revolving credit facility.

Last month, the company reported funds from operations of $11.7 million in the three months ended Dec. 31, an increase of 42.9 per cent year-over-year. The average monthly rent across the REIT’s portfolio was $1,579 at the end of 2019, up from $1,402 at the end of the previous year.